New GP's

03-02-2004, 11:16 AM
What is the consensus on the Bahrain and Chinese GP's? I wish we'd get some of the good circuits back. The fast Silverstone, Adelaide, Imola without the 2 new chicanes, and Hockenheim, even A1 ring - at least you could overtake there... Maybe even throw in Assen in the Netherlands - MotoGP goes there why not F1? Scrap Hungary, Sepang, Nurburgring, the new Hockenheim, Albert Park, Catalunya, and then shoot Bernie. He's lost the plot.

ANYWAY... Bahrain and China eh? The circuits look like your standard formula these days: All mid speed corners, no long straights or testing high speed corners. I want to see a designer put a section similar to eau rouge in a new circuit but tighter and with inverse terrain. If you look at the current circuits on the calendar, the only ones where overtaking happnens often are where there is a high speed section followed by a long straight: Spa, Indianapolis, Brazil, Canada, France, Monza, and Silverstone are about all I can think of which is pretty poor for a 17 race season. And Bernie was going to scrap two of those.

Anyway, I've been gibbering, so back to the main point, are these new circuits going to produce good races? Will anyone turn up to the GPs there after 3 years? Or is someone going to have to kill bernie before he stuffs up the calender anymore?

I personally, as you may have guessed, am in favour of the shoot bernie option... If I ruled the world all GPs would be at Spa and Adelaide... In the rain... In 1200bhp turbos... WITHOUT DRIVER AIDS!

03-02-2004, 11:31 AM
It's all about the money....

Shooting Bernie sounds reasonable though.

03-02-2004, 03:30 PM
I agree, although Adelaide in the rain makes for some very short GPs! F1 is losing its history, and it is mostly Bernie's fault. It galls me to hear him spoken of as the saviour of F1. Fact is he is destrying it and substituting it's once great history with his own personal cash cow.

Layla's Keeper
03-03-2004, 04:09 AM
A: If you honestly believe that there weren't sophisticated driving aids back in the late 80's early 90's, you're sadly mistaken. Active suspensions. Electro-sensitive shock oil. Traction control. ABS. Yaw control. All these came into being during the turbo era and were banned as they became too expensive for the lesser teams to use.

B: It wasn't Bernie's idea to change Hockenheim. It was the idea of the track owners so that they could build more grandstand seating to house more paying race goers.

C: Western Europe is having a hard time supporting its Gran Prix. The fans don't have as much disposable income and the tobacco sponsorship ban is taking away much needed sponsorship money. F1 doesn't want to leave it's glorious old tracks, and F1 still has a very proud and rich history. But history doesn't pay the bills, and thus it needs to go forward to where people with more disposable income and where the companies that sponsor F1 teams are allowed to display their sponsorship.

Don't go blaming Bernie for trying to keep F1 alive. Blame the EU for getting all safety nazi on us over tobacco.

Not to mention who are you to say there won't be good races at Bahrain and China? We haven't seen races on the courses, and they should be given the chance to make history of their own. Formula One is the WORLD'S MOTORSPORT. Hasn't the joy of F1 always been progress, growth and change?

We should rejoice in a diverse and wondrous past, where great tracks like Kyalami, Brands Hatch, Osterreich, and Watkins Glen gave us some of the most tear-jerking and fist-pumping memories in all of motorsport. But we should also embrace the idea of growing beyond the currently known boundaries and becoming something even greater than what we are now.

To put it bluntly; if F1 decides to stop changing, it becomes NASCAR.

03-03-2004, 05:35 AM
A. Not exactly true Layla's keeper. ABS for a start was never widespread on F1 cars. It was only being rolled out as the ban on electronic driver aids was mooted for 1994. Hence teams like Williams dropped development on the idea.

B. Likely Bernie was not the driving force behind the rape of Hockenheim but for sure he was behind the dropping of Spa. The latter is a far worse crime.

C. F1 does not make decisions. The likes of Bernie and Max do. They are not F1. All the talk about F1 needing money is rubbish. The teams will spend exactly as much money as is available. Well, except for Jordan, Eddie will have his eye on a new yacht or something. If the sponsorship pie shrinks so will the budgets. That doesn’t mean F1 disappears. Look back to the mid sixties, before the advent of major commercial sponsors. The sort of budgets teams like Lotus and Brabham won World Championships with wouldn’t keep Ferrari in pasta today. I’d rather have been around to see Jim Clark in an under funded Lotus 25, than a spoilt Mickey the Shoe in modern orange mobile billboard.

I haven’t seen a layout for the Bahrain track but China is another flat, mickey mouse circuit like Sepang. Characterless. I wouldn’t mind so much if the people who designed these new tracks had the racing itself as their primary concern. Corporate entertainment and public access are higher priorities. The event is not about the race but a showcase for politicians and business opportunity for sponsors. Albert Park is a prime example.

Bottom line - money is not the be all and end all of F1. Only of the people who prostitute it to their own ends.

Are you saying cheap gimmicks like those introduced last year are the only way to save F1, to stop it becoming NASCAR? I agree F1 needs to change from time to time but change for changes sake is the blight of modern life. We need to make tracks safer, but not abandon them because of commercial issues. We need to give all entrants an equal chance, but that doesn't extend to making the grid a lottery.

To me F1 is a lost cause anyway so I am beyond being upset. What really gets my goat is the same people have started fucking with the WRC.

03-03-2004, 08:13 PM
I wouldn't have a problem with the new GP's if the tracks weren't as boring as watcing paint dry... The drivers say "oh yes this track is nice!" but nobody seems to consider that they're not speaking their own words... Who says an exciting and challenging track can't be safe? These new ones are all about one thing: sponsors. Anyone noticed the no of teams in F1 has dropped considerably? or the influx of manufacturers? In 1987 there was 1 manufacturer team, ferrari, which doesn't really count. Now there are: Toyota, Renault, Ferrari, Jaguar (read FORD) Mclaren MERCEDES, BMW williams. Williams and Mclaren aren't independent teams anymore. Manufacturers should stick to engine supply and not be allowed to own any amount of a team. If bernie was making changes for the good of F1 he would have told the hockenheim owners that if they changed the circuit they were off the calender... Maybe bernie should grow some balls...
P.s. The zenith of driver aids was '93, not '87-'88 at the peak of the turbos... The best Aided car ever was the 3.5 V10 williams renault of Prost in 1993.
Besides, since when can't F1 embrace the future by booting out the manufacturers and racing on exciting fast circuits? You'd get better audiences thats for sure...

Watch the melbourne gp and consider that aside from the main straight, only 2 other stands around the circuit are public access...

There are plenty of great circuits still in use for top level motorsport, so don't say they can't be used for F1 because they're unsafe. If motogp or FIAGT use them F1 can too.

03-03-2004, 08:20 PM
P.s. If you're gonna drop a track drop Monaco PLEASE! People say that "it's the greatest and most historic race on the calendar" bollocks. Spa is that race, monaco is sponsors day out.

If you think F1 needs tobacco you're wrong. Tobacco needs F1. They can't advertise anywhere else these days and F1 is their last great audience.

Layla's Keeper
03-03-2004, 09:27 PM
Did I say anything about safety, FFDriftweapon? No I didn't. Hell, Macau is safe and F3000 and touring cars race there each year. It's the facilities, marketability, distance from other tracks, and the economic strength of the surrounding area that determines whether or not a track can host a Gran Prix.

Mid Ohio is a wonderful technical circuit with plenty of passing oppurtunities and elevation changes, plus lots of history in American road racing.

But it's in the middle of rural Ohio, has no covered grandstands, and the majority of the pit area is stil gravel.

Hence, no Gran Prix.

Secondly, manufacturer involvement has always signified great eras in Formula One. Remember Fangio? Remember the Mercedes W196 versus the Maserati 250F versus the Ferrari-Lancia D50's? Those were phenomeonal times for F1. There have been great eras that were primarily privateer. The 70's, the era of the Cosworth DFV, were a great time, but when BMW showed up with Brabham, and Renault did the RE20 with its side skirts and turbos, it opened the doors to a whole new world of F1.

F1 isn't for "privateers". It's for the best. Period. The goal of F1 is to out think, out drive, out engineer, out power, out handle, and out spend ALL your rivals to be declared the best in the world.

If you can't do that, don't complain. It really pisses me off when Eddie Jordan complains about how he can't afford to beat Ferrari and BMW and them. Well, them's the breaks.

If you can't afford to have a top line driver like Michael Schumacher, a top line aerodynamicist like Adrian Newey, a top line team boss like Flavio Briatore, or a top line engine development wrangler like Patrick Head, YOU DON'T WIN.

And, as a final word. Any champion who can't take at least a podium at Monaco IS NOT A CHAMPION. Monaco IS Formula One. It's glamorous and romantic, oozes money and class, and represents the upper crust that Formula One is supposed to be.

03-04-2004, 02:29 AM
The problem with having manufacturers in F1 is the chance of them pulling out because they decide that it isn't "economically viable". A privateer team has the tendency to hang on by its fingernails for years, minardi being the classic and perennial example. The amount of money spent is not directly related to the excitement of the racing or the quality of the car. If newey's budget was 50m less he'd still design a good car that was almost as quick. It's the law of diminishing returns all over again. Shouldn't F1 be about who can design the best car rather than who can buy ALL of the best designers in the buisness? If everyone had only 200m a year to spend, F1 would suddenly stop being about the money and start being about the drivers, the engineers, and the designers. It's widely accepted that Schumi wouldn't do shit in a minardi. They've got next to no money. David Brabham used to beat the shit out of schumi and co. in F3000 but was never able to do anything in F1 because of the team he drove for.
Being a true champion in F1 isn't about winning at monaco, it's about winning in the rain. Or being able to work a race exactly to you're wishes.
If mid ohio is such a good circuit, but is safe enough, why can't track designers build more like it or spa for the new gp's? The guy who bastardised Hockenheim and designed China has been praised, but what good has he done for F1? Made the racing more formulaic and boring. You can't possibly say with a straight face that these new circuits are going to produce exciting unpredictable racing like spa does. Thats why I think Assen should go onto the calendar along with the nordschleif and possibly zolder. All of these circuits are up to FIA standard and F1 could go to them at any time.

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